Several years ago, when I had a one-way commute to work of 60 miles, I would have loved a service that offered me the chance to download audio books to my smart phone to listen to on my drive.
Such mobile devices didn't exist during my first such commute 15 years ago, and five years ago, during my second commute to the same city for a different job, the iTunes store existed for music alone and not for mobile applications.
Then, I occasionally listened to a book on CD — or even a cassette tape — in my car, but they were expensive to buy and lacking in good enough selections to rent.
Commuters today have better options, including an audio book service called Audiobooks.com that some have compared to the movie service Netflix: Users pay a monthly fee in order to have access to thousands of movies available for streaming.
For $29.95, users of Audiobooks.com get access to more than 15,000 books, including best sellers, on their computers and on their Android or Apple mobile devices.
They can stream the books via WiFi to their devices or download up to two at a time using the apps. That way, they can listen to them on the go. If they switch between a smart phone and a computer, their place will be bookmarked where they left off listening and the narrator will start there when they sign on again.
The new apps were released on the Google Play Store in August and earlier in the summer on the iTunes store.
Thanks to representatives of Audiobooks.com, I got to try out the iTunes app, and it was easy to use. Within minutes, I had signed up and had downloaded “Insurgent,” by Veronica Roth, the sequel to the popular book “Divergent” and was listening through my headphones to a narrator read the book.
Of course, you can always use your library card and check out audio books from the Metropolitan Library System using a process similar to checking out a book to read on a mobile phone or tablet.
To check out from t he library, you have to have an app like OverDrive Media Console for audio books (and Adobe Digital Editions for eBooks), and the process of getting it to your book is at first cumbersome, but those books are always free.
If I were still driving long ways to work, a monthly subscription for a service like Audiobooks.com would be a welcome diversion for the commute. I will probably keep finding ways to use the service, even though I feel asleep testing it from the comfort of my couch.
Email app ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more apps, go online to Blog.NewsOK.com/get-appy.